Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In 2007, there were 4,600 properties sold to foreigners on the Costa del Sol. Last year the number was a mere 600. Or 13% of the peak year of the phoney boom.

Looking ahead, the IMF has today issued revised forecasts for this year and next year. For Spain, the economy is forecast to shrink by 1.7% this year and by 0.3% in 2013. And the government is predicted to miss its deficit target by a significant margin. God knows what this means for an unemployment rate which, at 23.5%, is already astonishingly high. Or a scarcely-credible 49%, if you're young.

The inevitable question is - When is Spain going to see the sort of protests seen in, say, France? As of now, we have the Yo no pago (I won't pay) campaign. This is the indignados refusing to pay for public services, such as the Madrid Metro. Which probably won't worry the government too much.

On a wider front, the IMF today repeated its plea for another 500 billion dollars, in order to ensure a firewall that's sufficiently high to protect Italy and Spain. And if they don't get it?

Spain's most famous (and most controversial) judge - Baltasar Garzón - is facing not one but three trials. As Guy Hedgecoe writes in IberoSphere, the Garzón affair reflects Spain's tortured relationship with its past. And a few other things as well. Click here for the comprehensive article.

Someone else in court is a chap called Asil Nadir, who returned to the UK recently to face the prosecution for financial skulduggery he avoided a couple of decades ago by fleeing the country. Mr Nadir is 70, so he probably gets quite a lot of people mistaking his 27 year old wife for his daughter. Or granddaughter even. Her name is Nur, which means 'light' in Persian. As in the Koh-i Nur - Or Mountain of Light - diamond.

Finally . . . I was accosted in the café today by a young man from Bahrain. He claimed to be writing an article and asked me "How people round here interact with their families". I told him that, as it was essentially a student quarter, there probably wasn't much interaction at all. At least not until the vacations. He seemed to find this depressing. So I tried to cheer him up by telling him things were different in Spain.

4 comments:

Sierra said...

Don't think the IMF gets out of bed for a billion these days - try half a trillion

Colin said...

Thanks, Sierra. You're right, of coiurse.

CafeMark said...

In 2007, there were 4,600 properties sold to foreigners on the Costa del Sol. Last year the number was a mere 600." -> Are you sure about that? This link shows 951 foreign purchases in Malaga alone, and claims numbers have started to rise again. http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/buff/2012/01/03/big-jump-in-number-of-foreign-residents-buying-property-in-spain/

Colin said...

Well,

1. Mark regularly pours scorn on official figures

2. I thought I got the data from Mark's site but can't find it when I go back through his posts. Odd.

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